Monday, February 17, 2014

I'm A Grown Man And I Bought This: NECA 18" Pacific Rim Gipsy Danger

 A while back I reviewed Wave 1 of NECA's 7" Pacific Rim action figures. Tonight I'm reviewing their new 18" Gipsy Danger figure.

For those of you interested in packaging (I'm not, as I free all my figures from their cardboard prisons), here's a look at the front and back of the box. The front offers a good view of the figure, while the back shows it in an action pose. It's reasonably collector friendly if you'd like to take the figure out and look at it before sticking it back into the box.

By the way, don't bother looking for this figure in any brick and mortar store. I was barely able to find it online, and even then after only after a couple weeks of searching. You might be able to find it at a comic book store or a place like Coconuts, but I wouldn't bet on it. Online is your best option here.

For some reason all the Pacific Rim toys are as scarce as hen's teeth. I'm not sure why-- giant robots fighting giant monsters? That's a match made in toy heaven. Instead of cool figures like these, the toy aisles are clogged with Man Of Steel crap that are rotting untouched on the shelves.

And here we come to the bane of my existence. Once you pull the figure from the box, you're not done! You've got your work cut out for you, as there are at least thirteen wire ties to get through before you can release the figure. What sadistic bastard thinks this is a good idea?.

Once you finally get it out of the package, you're rewarded with a huge, solid and very nicely detailed action figure.

I'm not kidding when I say it's detailed. It's covered in little hatches and panels and vents. The longer you look at it the more detail you see. It really is an amazing piece of work.

In addition to the excellent detailing the figure features a top notch paint job. The pistons look suitably grease covered, the wiring looks like, well, wiring and the outer panels have a wash on them to simulate wear. In the film the Jaegers didn't just roll off the assembly line, they'd been around for years and taken quite a beating. The paint wash helps sell that idea and is a welcome addition. 

Now the bad news. I was disappointed with the articulation of the figure. The 7" version wasn't very well articulated, but that's to be expected. A figure in this scale should have articulation coming out its... er, ears. Sadly, it doesn't.

That's not to say it doesn't have any. The head turns and the shoulders appear to be ball jointed, although the design of the body limits their movement. The elbows and wrists are articulated as well. There's an ab-crunch joint that doesn't really move much, and hip, knee, ankle and heel articulation.

Now I admit that when you list it all out like that it sounds like a lot, but the range of motion of many of the joints is limited and can't really move much. There's no excuse for that in a figure of this size.

I suppose the limited articulation may be a result of trying to keep the cost down. Stupid economic and price points! 

Here's an example of the sub-par articulation. The elbow joints allow you to bend the arms an astonishing 45 degrees or so. That was, I say that was sarcasm, son.

 I was also disappointed by the hands. They're forever frozen in fist form. A figure this size ought to have some sort of finger articulation, or an extra set of hands at least. 

Again, this probably came down to cost.

Articulation complaints aside, this really is a beautiful figure. Well, if you think giant robots are beautiful, that is. Just look at that profile!

Here's a close up of the detailing on the legs. Pretty cool!

More leg details, including pistons, vents and simulated machinery.

There are all kinds of flanges and plates that appear to be separate pieces that are glued onto the figure, rather than molded as one big piece. This helps it look more detailed and less toy like.

A lot of these hatches and flanges feel like they should open up. If they do, I haven't figured out how to open them.

The only such moveable parts I've found are these flaps on the back. I'm not really sure what they're supposed to be or why they decided to make them-- and only them-- move, but there you go.

Surprisingly the figure can stand by itself in this obligatory reverse Bigfoot pose.

The 18" Gipsy Danger (man, I can't get used to spelling "gypsy" with an "I") has a light up feature in the head and chest. It's activated by a well-hidden button on the back of its neck.

The light up feature is pretty darned bright too.

Hey, when it's lit up like that it looks just like a scene from the movie...

No, wait. THIS is how it looked in the movie. You'd think that in this day and age we'd have advanced past the point where we have to render our CGI characters in the dark and the rain to make them look real, but I guess not.

Gipsy Danger comes with two, and only two, accessories: the chain swords. You plug the chain swords into slots at the wrist, above the hands.

I'm not sure why they included two chain swords, as they only used one in the movie, but I'm not gonna look a gift accessory in the mouth. 

I kind of wish they'd given us one rigid and one flaccid (heh) chain sword, as in the film.

Here's the 18" Gipsy Danger next to the usual can of Pepsi Throwback for scale. As you can see, she's big. Very big. Surprisingly big. I have no idea where I'm going to display her either. I need a bigger house. Or less crap.

Here's the 18" Gipsy Danger next to the 7" version. Quite a difference!

A cut scene from Pacific Rim, in which the massive Gipsy Danger tenderly cradles its offspring.

So what's the verdict? Is the 18" Gipsy Danger a buy or a pass? It's very highly detailed and looks awesome, but the articulation and accessories are somewhat lacking, considering the scale and the price point. It's got a nice light up feature too. It's not a perfect figure by any means, but I'd say the pros outweigh the cons. If you're a fan of the film, you have room for it and you're lucky enough to find one, I say go for it.

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